This Week in History 12/20 – 12/26

HistoryThis Week in History

December 20:

  • A revival broke out among the Shakers igniting a religious fervor among other denominations especially in Kentucky and other colonial frontier regions (1787)
  • Montgomery, Alabama removed race-based seat assignments on its buses (1956)
  • Virginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown, Virginia (1606)
  • 14 republics form Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics – USSR (1922)
  • Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart and Donna Reed premieres in New York (1946)
  • Bob Hope becomes an American citizen (1920)
  • French flag lowered in New Orleans to mark formal transfer of Louisiana Purchase from France to US for 27 million (1803)
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm is published (1812)
  • Civil War: South Carolina secedes from the Union (1860)
  • Vietnam War: National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam is formed (1960)
  • Harvey starring James Stewart premieres in New York (1950)
  • Phileas Fogg completes around world trip according to Jules Verne (1892)
  • Thomas Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park (1879)
  • First successful US cotton mill to spin yarn in Rhode Island (1790)
  • Pneumatic automobile tire patented (1892)
  • WW2: World War II: First battle of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers, in Kunming, China (1941)
  • Osmond brothers debut on Andy Williams Show (1962)
  • First state anti-lynching statute approved in Georgia (1893)
  • Elvis Presley given draft notice to join US Army for National Service (1957)
  • Archbishop Edmund Grindal  challenge Queen Elizabeth when she ordered him to squelch a Puritan movement in England (1576)
  • Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 & 50 (1820)
  • Civil War: Vicksburg Campaign begins (1862)
  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days (2007)
  • Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as “Great White Way” (1880)
  • Baldwin Institute, now known as Baldwin Wallace University, was founded (1845)

December 21:

  • 103 Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock (1620)
  • John Jay becomes 1st US Secretary of State (1784)
  • Civil War: General Sherman conquers Savannah, Georgia (1864)
  • Shirley Temple

    Fox Films signs Shirley Temple, age 5, to a studio contract (1933)

  • Walter L. Wilson, founder of Calvary Bible College and pioneer of Christian radio, was converted to Christianity (1896)
  • J. Edgar Hoover deports anarchists/feminist Emma Goldman to Russia (1919)
  • Flying Down to Rio becomes Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers first movie together (1932)

December 22:

  • Schoenbrunn Village

    Schoenbrunn Village

    Moravian missionary constructs first schoolhouse west of Allegheny in Schoenbrunn Village, Ohio (1772)

  • Continental navy organized with seven ships (1775)
  • Romania ousts communist president Nicolae Ceausescu after police try to arrest a pastor and are stopped by a crowd that grows into a mob and marches to the palace. Many believe this was the first domino in the fall of the USSR. (1989)
  • French officer Alfred Dreyfus court-martialed for treason, triggers worldwide charges of antisemitism. Dreyfus later vindicated. (1894)
  • Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony given world premiere in Vienna (1808)
  • Attendees at a prayer meeting for indigenous causes in the small village of Acteal in the Mexican state of Chiapas are massacred by paramilitary forces (1927)
  • Julie Nixon, daughter of President Nixon, and David Eisenhower, grandson of President Eisenhower, marry each other (1968)
  • Hugh McKail, a Covenanter preacher in Scotland, was martyred by being tortured and hung (1666)
  • Samuel Marsden of the Church Missionary Society arrives in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to establish the country’s first mission station (1814)
  • John Hunt, first missionary to Fiji, arrived on the Fiji Islands (1836)
  • The execution of author Fyodor Dostoevsky is called off at the last second (1849)
  • The first U.S. commercial radio license assigned to a religious broadcaster was awarded to the National Presbyterian Church of Washington, D.C. (1921)
  • First string of Christmas tree lights created by Thomas Edison (1882)

December 23:

  • Revolutionary War: General George Washington resigns his military commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Army to Congress (1783)
  • Visit from St Nicholas by Clement Moore published (1823)
  • Revolutionary War: Thomas Paine writes “These are the times that try men’s souls” (1776)
  • Maryland votes to cede a 10 sqaure mile area for District of Columbia (1788)
  • Revolutionary War: Benedict Arnold court-martialed for improper conduct (1779)
  • “Emma” By Jane Austen by published (1815)
  • Birth of Jean Francois Champollion, founder of modern Egyptology and man who successfully decoded the hieroglyphics of the Rosetta Stone (1790)
  • Philip of Moscow, leader of the Russian Church, was martyred for speaking out against Ivan the Terrible’s mass executions (1569)
  • English astronomer John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realizing it’s undiscovered (1690)
  • Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, and sends it to a prostitute for safe keeping (1888)
  • First Keystone Kops film, entitled Hoffmeyer’s Legacy (1912)
  • Birth of Robert Barclay, Scottish Quaker theologian (1648)
  • BBC Radio began daily newscasts (1922)

December 24:

  • Astronauts James A. Lovell, William Anders, and Frank Borman read passages from Genesis to the world as Apollo VIII became the first manned vehicle to circle the moon (1968)
  • Silent Night sung for the very first time at St. Nicholas Church in Austria (1818)
  • The Northside Tabernacle in Chicago was dedicated by evangelist Dwight L. Moody (1871)
  • Fire devastates US Library of Congress in Washington, destroys 35,000 volumes (1851)
  • WW2: FDR appoints General Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces
  • Civil War: Several Confederate veterans form Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee (1865)
  • Henry Ford completes his first useful petroleum fueled engine (1893)
  • War of 1812: The Treaty of Peace and Amity between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America is signed by British and American representatives at Ghent, Belgium, ending the war (1814)
  • Irving Fisher patents archiving system with index cards (1912)
  • Methodism was officially organized in the newly-independent United States of America (1784)
  • Americans remembered Iran hostages by shining lights for 417 seconds (1980)
  • WW1: German plane drops bombs on Dover England (1914)

December 25:

  • Christ was born according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus (1 AD)
  • The first recorded celebration of Christmas (336 AD)
  • First known Christmas carol Silent Night, Holy Night sung in Austria (1818)
  • Handel’s Messiah, premieres in the US in Boston (1818)
  • Revolutionary War: Washington crosses Delaware where he surprises and defeats 1,400 Hessians (1776)
  • WW1: Legendary Christmas Truce ceased fighting among enemies (1914)
  • Francis of Assisi assembles first Nativity scene Greccio, Italy (1223)
  • Bing Crosby sings White Christmas in public for the first time (1941)
  • The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web (1990)
  • Montgomery Ward introduces Rudolph the 9th reindeer (1939)
  • Civil War: President Andrew Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion (1868)
  • Civil War: Christmas for Union soldier Elisha Hunt Rhodes, famous for his diary of the Civil War that span four years (1862)
  • Massachusetts General Court ordered a five shilling fine for “observing any such day as Christmas” (1651)
  • The Dunkards, German Baptists, held their first immersion service in America at Germantown, Pennsylvania (1723)
  • Physician Ephraim McDowell performs the first abdominal surgery in the U.S, an ovariotomy to remove a 22 lb ovarian tumor (1809)
  • First electrically-lit Christmas tree appeared in the White House while Calvin Coolidge was president (1923)
  • Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony forbids game playing on Christmas (1621)
  • Clovis, the first French Christian king, and 4,000 of his troops became Christians and were baptized (496 AD)
  • England adopts Julian calendar (597 AD)
  • Astronomer Anders Celsius introduces Centigrade temperature scale (1741)
  • Christmas Island founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary (1643)

December 26:

  • A 9.3 magnitude earthquake creates a tsunami causing devastation in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives and many other areas around the rim of the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people. (2004)
  • Revolutionary War: General George Washington wins Battle of Trenton after surprise attack on Hessians that were dazed from too much Christmas celebrations (1776)
  • Plymouth Colony was settled by the Mayflower colonists (1620)
  • George Washington is eulogized by Colonel Henry Lee as “First in war, First in peace and First in hearts of his countrymen” (1799)
  • The crimes of Elizabeth Báthory, the most prolific female serial killer who murdered hundreds of young girls, are uncovered (1620)
  • WW2: Winston Churchill becomes first British Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of the US Congress warning that Axis would “stop at nothing” (1941)
  • Judy Garland

    Judy Garland, age 2½ and billed as Baby Frances, makes her show business debut (1924)

  • A theater fire in Richmond, Virginia kills the Governor of Virginia George William Smith and the president of the First National Bank of Virginia Abraham B. Venable (1811)
  • WW1: Government takes over US railroads for duration of the war (1917)
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This entry was posted in History, This Week in History by Tamera Lynn Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Lynn Kraft

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio. Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise are two of her historical novellas that have been published. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest.

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